Friday, October 15, 2010

The Crayola Crayon Incident

After reading about my candy bar and dishwasher disasters, Carrie at A Chocolate-Covered To Do List wrote:

Her next trick: frying the microwave!  Please tell me that you have a microwave story?

I'm sorry but I don't have a microwave story. Sure, I've melted my fair share of plastic bowls by forgetfully leaving a metal spoon inside. Really, who hasn't? This comment did remind me of another disastrous time I tried to do something nice though.

I was in middle school and my family was preparing to move from San Jose, CA to Albuquerque, NM. Our house was spotless because my parents were getting ready to put it on the market (the value of homes in the Bay Area skyrocketed a few months after they sold the house, but that's a story for another day). Home by myself, I was wasting the afternoon reading magazines and came across an idea for something nice to do for my mom. The magazine (American Girl, I think) suggested that I melt down my old crayons and pour them into heart-shaped molds.

I had heart-shaped molds! I gathered up all my old crayons, peeled off the paper wrappers, and put them in a pan on the stove. The magazine said to set the stove to low. I did.

But nothing happened.

I waited a little longer. I had my heart-shaped molds all ready to go and kept waiting for the crayons to melt. I stirred the pot of crayons, hoping to speed up the process, but even the ones on the bottom were barely becoming soft. Outside, I could hear the ice cream truck a few streets away. I wanted to go buy some ice cream but didn't want to leave the crayons unattended. I didn't think it was going to take so long! My mom would be home soon and the entire point of melting the crayons into hearts was that it be a surprise.

So, I cranked up the heat.

It was still taking forever. When I heard the ice cream truck arrive on my street, I went outside. It had been so long and nothing had happened with the crayons. I didn't think anything of stepping away from the stove for just a minute.

This, of course, is the OOPS! part of my story.

You wouldn't think that crayons would go from being completely solid to being melted, boiling, and spewing hot drops of wax on every surface in only a matter of minutes, right? The wax was EVERYWHERE! Little dots of Jungle Green and Robin's Egg Blue were on the cabinet doors, the floor, the fridge, and even the ceiling. And it was still bubbling, spitting out more and more colored spots every second. I held my ice cream bar in my mouth (to protect it from the wax, of course) and ran to turn off the stove, but was much too big of a wimp not to turn back from the hot wax flying at me.

I ended up standing at the edge of the kitchen, waiting for the crayon downpour to subside and enjoying my ice cream bar, before turning off the heat. By the time the last drop of Vivid Violet left the pan, our kitchen looked like The Cat in the Hat had stopped by. And just in time to put the house on the market.

I remember wishing at the time that it hadn't happened, but also being well aware that I would not get in trouble. After all, my plan had been to make heart-shaped crayons for my mom as a sweet surprise.

How do you think that played out for me?

 It's probably best to just keep me out of here altogether.
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